Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 16.3

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Eventually, things will come to light… Alas, when it happens is not always in our control.

Chapter 16.3 — Life’s Tender Dependence (3)

This story was translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. All forms of reproduction, redistribution, or reposting are not authorized. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the copy is unauthorized and has been taken without consent of the translator.

 

In Jì Chengyang’s memory, many things happened in the spring of 2003.

In March, he returned from Russia to his home country; an atypical pneumonia was spreading rapidly in Beijing, as well as Guangzhou and Hong Kong; and in the face of this disaster that no one was prepared for, the relationship between him and Jǐ Yi, in that early spring that was still frigidly cold, quietly began.

On March 20, the coalition forces primarily led by American and British troops finally launched military operations against Iraq. If it could be said that there was still at least a fig leaf covering the intention of the war in Afghanistan, then this war on Iraq had become a true military retaliation. Due to the spread of SARS in China, problems were encountered with the paperwork and procedures for Jì Chengyang to go abroad, and so, even after war had broken out, he still temporarily remained within the country, becoming an idler.

During this period, Jì Chengyang’s father also underwent a major surgery. At his hospital bed, in front of his several sons and daughters, he had requested, from his own mouth, Jì Chengyang to give up his current line of work. Jì Chengyang had not given him an answer.

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only.

“Do you want Kung Pao chicken for dinner tonight?” Jì Chengyang asked on the phone.

He truly had nothing to do. While everyone was at home hiding away from the infectious disease, he was out alone, pushing a shopping cart in a supermarket that was practically empty of people, strolling around idly. As there were not many customers, the stock in the store was actually very low as well. There were barely a few boxes of things in a cooler unit that was several metres long.

“Sure.” The sound of Jǐ Yi’s breathing was a little heavy. She should have just run out from her lecture room and was hurrying to get to her next class. “Could you buy a bit more peanuts? I like eating the peanuts in Kung Pao chicken.”

“No problem,” he answered. “I’ll come pick you up after I’m done buying the stuff.”

“It’ll be an hour later than normal tonight. I was given an extra class at the last minute.”

“That’s okay. I can sit in the car and read through some material.”

The call was hung up, and he continued shopping.

However, for this type of supermarket that was seriously lacking in goods, the word “shopping” really could not be used.

Within only a few short minutes, he took another two phone calls. One was from his Second [Older] Brother, who was also Jì Nuannuan’s father. In the phone, Second Brother’s word choices were quite intense and heated. The general gist of them was that Nuannuan had skipped classes for many days in a row already, and every once in a while, they would not even be able to find or get ahold of her. Second Brother and Sister-In-Law had discussed things and seemed to want to send her abroad earlier than planned, but then SARS had happened to occur right at the same time, so this matter had been delayed. However, they still could not set their minds at ease and wanted Jì Chengyang to help persuade Nuannuan.

“She idolizes you more than she idolizes me, this father of hers who wears a military uniform,” Second Brother had said. “Do you remember when she was small? She would always like to hold your hand and had said outright that she wanted to change dads.”

He remembered, but as a man who had never been married or had children, he truly was unable to carry out a conversation with a girl who had already gone through adolescence, especially when that conversation was about love and relationships and the future.

People from military families are not accustomed to using the telephone to communicate, so as soon as they finished talking about the matter, they hung up the call.

The second telephone call brought what could be considered good news. Some progress had been made on the matter of him going to Iraq. Jì Chengyang tossed the foodstuffs that he had bought into the trunk of the car and then drove directly to the television station, where he by chance ran into some political journalists of several major newspapers. They were all old acquaintances from when they had been stationed abroad and were familiar with one another, so they ended up chatting a little bit more.

Due to the impact of SARS, these people’s travel plans had also been held up. With nothing to do while they remained here in China, they were helping their colleagues cover some stories on SARS. The topic being covered by one of these people was “Scenes from Barred Schools” at the various major institutions of higher learning, and he had photographed many scenes of young couples pouring out their hearts to one another through an iron fence that separated them.

All of these were young love, couples who, amidst this type of fatal epidemic disease and highlighted against the fear all around, even more so could hardly wait to express the desire to hold on together and stay by one another’s side.

“You say, these young couples really aren’t afraid of death.” A male journalist looked through the photographs in his camera and showed them to Jì Chengyang. “I was watching. There were some who brought bag after huge bag of snacks for the other person, and there were also some who would kiss each other through the fence.”

These people were all political journalists, the same type as Jì Chengyang.

To put it simply, when these political journalists of China stepped foot into a combat zone, they would automatically switch their traits and become war correspondents, while during normal times, they would follow up and report on the political situations of various countries. They had all seen great, significant scenes and witnessed partings in life and separations by death. To them, what truly conquered people’s hearts would forever be the genuine love that manifested in what appeared to be bleak, desperate straits.

<>This copy was taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. It would be greatly appreciated if you would read it from there instead. Thank you.

Photograph after photograph. Unfamiliar faces that brimmed with youthfulness continuously flashed by inside the camera.

“Wait.” Jì Chengyang suddenly spoke. “Let me see the previous picture.”

The photograph shifted back. What he saw was not the embracing young couple in the photo but rather, the young girl in the corner who was looking on from the side. The side profile of the girl’s face was the foreground of the photograph…

“The foreground of this one is pretty good. This young girl just happened to turn her head to look at that young couple, so I snapped a picture.”

“Email this one to me.” Jì Chengyang gave a gentle tap with his fingertip to the side of that girl’s face. “Forget it. Come to my office and sit for a bit, and while you’re at it, give me a copy of the photo.”

That male journalist let out a laugh. “What’s up with this? You’re so rushed about it. How did the photo touch you?”

Jì Chengyang’s eyes were somewhat enigmatic, and his smile was reserved and poised. “You not only have to give that photo to me, you also need to delete your file of it.”

“Huh?”

“You photographed my girlfriend.” He was very upfront.

…….

That male journalist paused blankly for a moment, then exchanged a look with the other two people beside him. The three then turned their eyes onto the photograph and stared intently at it for a while. Only then did they seem to figure out what Jì Chengyang had actually said. Someone reached out an arm and threw it around Jì Chengyang’s shoulders. “Whoa, you rascal, you’re good. Oh yeah, you’re really good.” Although they were sighing feelingly like this, there was still a feeling in all of them that those words were untrue.

After all, Jì Chengyang was simply too well known in this professional circle of theirs, but he did not really link himself in any way to women. He gave off the sense that he tended to stay away from women.

For instance, when men sit together, they will always nonchalantly throw out some jokes about sex, but Jì Chengyang would never really participate in those types of conversations. Sometimes when there was a gathering of everyone or something similar, people would always deliberately play random matchmaker with a person here and another person there. Most of the people who were single would go along with it, giving it a try to see if there might be any inclination to develop things into a real dating relationship. Jì Chengyang, though, was yet again an exception to this.

Now, completely out of left field, he suddenly had a university-student girlfriend.

Hmm, so it turns out the one who doesn’t normally parade his “talents” in front of everyone is actually the one with the greatest “skill.” Everyone was thinking this.

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only.

Inside a multi-level bookstore, Jǐ Yi wandered about, asking where the world maps could be found. Following the directions she had been given, she found the shelf, where she discovered that there were three different versions. In the end, she selected the largest one. After she had paid and stepped back outside, she received a phone call from Nuannuan. She stuffed her world map into her backpack while pressing the answer button. “Hello? Nuannuan?”

“Xixi.” Jì Nuannuan’s voice sounded somewhat choked up as she coolly spoke Jǐ Yi’s name. “I’m going to ask you a question.”

“What’s wrong?” Jǐ Yi detected that something was not right.

“Are you living together with my little uncle?”

Nuannuan’s question was like a depth charge that had suddenly been dropped to the bottom of a lake, its explosion instantaneously shattering all tranquility.

Jǐ Yi’s heart clenched fiercely. “No, we’re not living together.”

Yes, they were indeed staying under the same roof right now. However, it was only because Jì Chengyang was unwilling to let her stay in the dormitory and wanted her to avoid coming in contact with a large number of people that he was temporarily having her stay in his home. But, she did not know how she could explain this.

There was a slight tremor in Jì Nuannuan’s voice. She was already crying. “I saw your clothes in my little uncle’s house. Don’t tell me I saw wrong.”

“Jì Chengyang’s worried that if I stay on campus, I’ll come into contact with too many people, so he’s having me stay at his home for now. We’re not living together…”

“Who said you could call him Jì Chengyang?!”

“Nuannuan.” Jǐ Yi felt that even her heart was beginning to ache. “Please listen to me slowly explain everything to you. Please believe me…”

“Jǐ Yi, are you even a human being? How can you even be with my little uncle?” Sobs choked Nuannuan’s voice. She did not want to listen at all to any of her explanations. She only wanted to fire questions at her, to demand to know why Jǐ Yi would do this.

“You’re my best friend. How can you be together with my little uncle? Have you gone crazy? Are you crazy?!”

“I’ve always liked him, and he likes me, too…”

“Don’t even talk to me about those things! My little uncle has gone mad, and so have you! You’ve called him uncle since you were a kid. How can you live together with him? … You’re just too horrifying, Jǐ Yi. You don’t care about me at all! Did you ever think about me? I’ve idolized him since I was a kid. I idolize him more than I do my own father… You never even thought about me at all…” Jì Nuannuan’s words were completely disjointed and incoherent, and she was choking from sobbing so hard. “How can you just go and live together with my little uncle? …”

The Jì Chengyang in her mind had grand, noble ideals. There were absolutely no flaws in his integrity.

He absolutely could not have any blemish to him. He was different from everyone else.

But when she discovered that Jì Chengyang and Jǐ Yi were together, that he was cohabiting with a girl who should actually belong to a younger generation, a generation where the girl should be like his niece, and this girl was also her own best friend, it became that the person she most revered and her best friend, together at the same time, had betrayed and deceived her. Everything she had believed was utterly shattered, and as if floodwaters were crashing over her, wreaking havoc, all of her levelheadedness and resolve were swept away.

It was more terrible than if the heavens had collapsed.

<>Please support this translation at its actual site of posting, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, instead. Thank you.

Jǐ Yi was no longer able to speak. Tears surged forth uncontrollably from her.

She merely stood in front of the doors of the bookstore, completely at a loss for what to do. It was as if someone had reached a hand in beneath her ribs and taken her heart into a vicious grip.

Never before had she seen such a Jì Nuannuan. Every explanation she had once come up with in her mind was useless. She had imagined countless reactions that Nuanuan might have, but the type she feared most was this one—the most real and genuine type of anger.

There were no words Jǐ Yi could say in response. She did not even dare repeat what she had said before, did not dare say that she loved Jì Chengyang, for fear that this might provoke Nuannuan.

The way Nuannuan completely snapped was utterly beyond what she had imagined. She had never heard Nuannuan cry like this. That vulnerability from having her beliefs and faith shattered in a single moment and the despair that came from her made Jǐ Yi feel that she was a sinner who had betrayed friendship.

A sinner through and through.

“Xixi, how can you be with my little uncle? Did you even think about me? …”

Nuannuan had completely broken down already with her sobs and would only over and over repeat this.

Jǐ Yi’s mobile phone slowly drained of its battery, and the phone call cut off.

With tears coursing over her cheeks, she stared at that blackened screen. Racing out of the building that the bookstore was in, she wanted to flag down a taxi. In such times, though, taxicabs were basically luxury items. After running for several blocks, she saw only one taxi, which was already occupied, and she chased after it for a long time until it had driven further and further away.

At last, she had run until she was exhausted of strength, and beside the road, helpless and not knowing at all what she should do, she could only lower herself slowly into a crouch.

Nuannuan’s accusing questioning at the end was still lingering in her mind. Her voice weak from crying, Nuannuan had told her, “You never even thought about me. Jǐ Yi, you never thought about me at all…”

Sentence after sentence, Nuannuan’s words played back in her mind, like a knife stabbing into her heart again and again.

She never had brought Nuannuan into consideration. She had always selfishly hidden away those feelings, treating them as a secret. Everything had blown up too quickly, and none of it had been within what she had imagined. All along, she had called him Jì Chengyang, had refused to address him as Little Uncle Jì. In the bottom of her heart, she had always resisted and fought this taboo. She had neglected the fact that he was actually someone who belonged to a generation senior to hers. She had neglected that he was the little uncle whom Nuannuan, her friend with whom she had grown up, revered and loved dearly. This was because she had always believed that this secret love she held, this one-sided love, would certainly fade away and disappear as she grew up.

She had previously even envisioned that one day she would attend Jì Chengyang’s wedding, and when the guests and his good friends who were coming and going had gotten him drunk, she would tell him, “Jì Chengyang, I’ve always liked you. Since I was really little, I’ve viewed you as my only aim and idol.”

These were all things that she had thought out already.

……

But everything had changed.

Everything had begun unfolding and moving in the direction of happiness. She had a tender dependence towards him, had been immersed in this love and relationship that she had never even dared to hope for before, and had neglected the very essence of the entire matter. Their generations and seniority were different, and since childhood, their interaction had been like family. He had always been her uncle. But in the end, things had left their control, and they had turned this relationship into one of love that exists between a man and a woman.

For anyone, this change would be one that was difficult to accept, and people would even think in the dirtiest of directions…

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only.

The newsstand and buildings around her were long closed already, and there were not many idle people out on the street, either.

Because her emotions earlier on had fluctuated too intensely, Jǐ Yi now felt somewhat lightheaded. She tried hard to calm herself. Then, she began searching for the nearest bus stop. As she tilted her head up to look at the sign at the bus stop, tears still swirled in her eyes. She prayed incessantly that, as soon as possible, she could find a bus route that would take her home. Luckily, there were many buses in this direction that would go to Jì Chengyang’s home. At last, after transferring between two buses, she got off near Jishuitan Bridge.

When she had walked to the little road by the community compound that Jì Chengyang lived in,  a vehicle’s headlights all of a sudden shone directly into her face.

A car came to an abrupt stop right in front of her.

Jǐ Yi dazedly stood where she was. Against the brilliance of the headlights, she saw Jì Chengyang get out of the car and, without speaking a word, stride towards her. Anger that he was finding difficult to suppress filled his deep eyes. “Why did you shut off your phone? Why didn’t you call me first and let me know where you were?”

This story was translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. All forms of reproduction, redistribution, or reposting are not authorized. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the copy is unauthorized and has been taken without consent of the translator.

 

Completed:
39 of 69 Chapter segments
0 of 1 Epilogue

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9 thoughts on “The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 16.3

  1. D: NO BEST FRIEND!! I think the stress of the situation and some other event is happening with Nuannuan… I hope she doesn’t break off her friendship with Xixi Dx
    Many thankss

  2. My heart ache for Ji yi 😢 but honestly I don’t really see the big deal with her friend she has her boyfriend and she has been on a revel mode for a bit she alreknows that Ji yi is a good and very mature girl and that decision is not hers to make it only belong to Ji yi and Ji Chengyang!! Sorry for ranting a little but I feel frustrated that they always try to control her life like she has no say on it I get that she is her best friend but that doesn’t give her the right to say who she should love or not

  3. Thanking you Hoju for another translated chapter.

    JNN kept saying JY has never thought of her at all??!!

    In so many words JNN has never thought of JY too. She only known how to think of spending her times with her boyfriend n left JY to fend for herself. I can understand that JNN is not happy at this moment because her parents intend to separate her from her boyfriend by sending her oversea to study but she should not take it out on JY.

    JNN is a spoil n selfish to think that JCY is her alone and belong to no-one even though JCY is her little uncle. What she do is to put more guilt on JY. As a best friends JNN should be more understanding. Anyway, this is my two penny worth of thought. Other readers might not agreed to my thinking. *shrug*

    • I am fully agree with you..even if we read from previous chapter she is not that good friend either for JY. I understand that she mad because JY dating JCY and she not telling her about it but she don’t need to be that mad and her words just too hars to hear..
      She just too selfish to be JY bestfriend..and smtimes i just think that JNN don’t deserved JY as her bestfriend..

      Ps: sorry for my bad english not my first language

  4. I did expect Nuannuan to have an angry outburst when she knows. Wonder if anyone in their family will have an open mind and accept their relation when they get to know about it first time. Waiting to see what all happens next.

    Thank you for the chapter, Hoju 🙂.

  5. Poor JY, hope the situation will get better, thanks Hoju for the update

  6. Aww 😦

    I cant help imagining in their foot. If I ever find out my idol uncle in relationship w my bestfriend, i would sure be caught off guard, i would not believe it like…. “we are peer, how could u bla bla”, i would also cant help imagining them in dirty state 😅 so sorry Ji Yi. but i wouldnt be that angry….
    Ah… these subjective perspective are so good.

    Thank you for the translation !!

  7. The conflicted heart is never be a nice moment in one’s life. I can feel their feelings, from Nuannuan, JY and JCY, they have their own perspective and stance. Social norm and the emotional values (aka heart) would not always go hand in hand, although theirs is really not forbidden. Their bond and love to each other is strong, it could weather the storm.

    I love to see more development in JCY’s personality. He was no longer a calm and collected man around JY. He become protective, impulsive and worrisome over JY when the outbreak happened and now. Oh, and a bit territorial too… his reaction over her picture that was taken by his colleagues is so LOL. But, still… like JY and JNN, I love him.

    Thanks for another chapter, Hoju~!

  8. looks like JCY can be quite possessive…wonder how he will take this situation
    thank you

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